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Five Tips for Hosting Thanksgiving Dinner

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Written by: Leverne Brown

The countdown for hosting Thanksgiving Dinner is on! Are you ready? We know that planning and cooking for a huge crowd can be overwhelming. We have five tips that will help you prepare for an exciting meal with your loved ones. From the entire team at Guarantee, we want to wish you and yours a very Happy Thanksgiving!

Set Your Table the Night Before
How many times have you actually set your table the night before Thanksgiving? Taking one thing off of your “to-do” list can relieve more stress than you can imagine. Here’s a bonus tip: If you have small children that are visiting, allow them to help set the table the night before. You can even make it into a family tradition by allowing them to pick the centerpiece or color scheme.

Use a Thermometer!
The USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service advises cooking turkeys until the thermometer reads 165°F; this is the “instant kill” temperature for any bacteria that might be present. Use a good digital probe thermometer to let you know when the turkey has reached temperature. For other cooking tips and instructions for turkey prep, visit the USDA website HERE. If you experience issues with cooking your turkey, feel free to reach out to the Butterball Hotline.

Order Your Desserts From a Local Bakery
It may sound shameful to serve store bought desserts at a family Thanksgiving feast. But just for a moment consider the time, cost, and preparation, that goes into all of that baking… Quality desserts can be purchased at local bakeries for the same amount you’d spend on the ingredients for baking your own desserts. Click HERE to order your pies at a local Marie Callender’s!

Serve a Buffet-Style Meal
Oh how wonderful it would be to display all of your dishes on the table, and to have Grandpa Joe carve the turkey right in front of everyone! But you’ve just spent hours cooking a beautiful meal for your guests to enjoy. Why not establish order and provide convenience to everyone? Consider serving your holiday dinner buffet-style. By doing so, your guests will have the opportunity to put what they want on their plates without having to pass a number of dishes around the table. The food will remain fresh and warm during the entire time!

Relax, Have Fun, and Be Thankful!
Although preparing a holiday feast can be stressful, don’t forget to relax and take some time for yourself before your company arrives. Oh!!! Don’t forget those classical holiday movies that you can watch while you cook. Click HERE for a complete list of holiday classics and show times. Click HERE for the 2018 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade channel guide.

Be sure to stock up on board games, uno cards, dominoes, trivia games, footballs, basketballs, softballs, etc. Remember the easel for a few rounds of pictionary during dessert! Make sure the person in charge of music and entertainment has a variety of activities for EVERYONE.

Most of all, don’t forget the real reason of the holiday. “Thanksgiving” is an expression of gratitude for family, friends, and loved ones that are dear to your heart. It’s a time of celebration and happy memories that can be shared for generations to come. Have fun and be THANKFUL!

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Leverne Brown

Guarantee Blog Writer

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Guarantee Sponsors Break the Barriers

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Guarantee Real Estate just announced a $1,000 sponsorship for Break the Barriers’ annual production of A Nutcracker Like No Other! Please continue reading to find out more.

About Break the Barriers
Almost 36 years ago, Break the Barriers (BTB) was established to celebrate awareness and victories of all abilities and disabilities. This organization educates the community in artistic expression, performing arts, and most important, it breaks barriers between people and groups by fulfilling acceptance and human interaction. Break the Barriers has made a significant impact locally and globally, and it has been recognized by the US Department of Education as a National Role Model for Inclusion.

How to Get Involved
On November 17, the performing arts division of BTB will host its annual production of A Nutcracker Like No Other. This year’s production will feature disabled veterans, giving them an opportunity to participate in the creative process and crew membership. Please help by clicking HERE to purchase a ticket to the show and other events that are produced by BTB.

The Guarantee Goodwill Network Fund is a donor-advised fund, established at the Central Valley Community Foundation, to encourage Guarantee employees to give back to the communities where they live and work.

Guarantee Home Safety Tips for Halloween

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Many children look forward to Halloween-The one day they can dress up and collect as many candy & treats their hands will allow. At Guarantee, we want all of our neighborhoods to enjoy the festivities of Halloween, but we want to encourage safety as well. Below are three important safety tips to keep top of mind when handing out treats this year.

Use Lots of Lights and Avoid Using Candles
A dark home can tell people you’re not expecting visitors. It could also be an accident waiting to happen. Be sure to keep the pathway from the street to your door well-lit. A glowing jack-o’-lantern makes your home warm and welcoming to children, but using a candle to illuminate a pumpkin can be dangerous. Costumes and paper decoration are easily flammable, so instead of using a candle, use fun light-up decorations that are battery operated.

Keep Your Walkway Clear
The fall season produces lots of leaves. Remember to sweep away dirt, leaves, and branches from your driveway or sidewalk. Trick-or-treaters are usually too preoccupied by counting their candy to pay close attention to where they’re walking, so it’s important to inspect your yard for hazards. Be sure your yard and walkways are free of water hoses, sprinklers, and loose gravel. If your home has an irrigation system, turn the system off so your lawn and walkways have a chance to dry.

Use Your Garage
The night before Halloween can be full of mischief, and the night of Halloween can lead to a yard full of kids. If your car is left outside of the garage, it can be a target for pranks, accidental dents and scratches. Be sure to park your car inside of your garage. If you don’t have a garage, try to park your car in a place with low traffic.

Have a safe and fun Halloween from your friends at Guarantee Real Estate!

Community Housing Council of Fresno

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The Guarantee Good Will Network recently donated $1,000 to The Community Housing Council of Fresno (CHC). The donation will be used to assist the organization with its annual Champions and Heroes of Home Ownership Costume Ball.

About the Community Housing Council of Fresno
The CHC was established almost 25 years ago by a group of individuals from the local real estate community. The purpose of the non-profit is to encourage homeownership through education and counseling.

In 2007, The CHC was approved by HUD as a pre-purchase Housing Counseling Agency offering an 8 hour homebuyer class that is required by many of the local and state down payment assistance programs. The organization meets with individuals at their Housing Resource Center located on Marks/Shaw Ln. The CHC also offers counseling to homeowners who are struggling with their mortgage obligations as part of the National Foreclosure Mitigation Counseling Program.

How to Help
To learn more about the CHC and how to make a donation, visit their website by clicking HERE

Guarantee Sponsors Able Advocates!

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The Guarantee Good Will Network recently made a $1000 donation to Able Advocates. The donation will assist the organization with its mission: to provide services and equipment for Central California children with special needs.

“Thank you Guarantee for your kind support…This donation is not just going towards our Equipment Closet, but it will help build stronger communities through networking, ensure that ALL children are loved and feel important, and it will provide a pathway for them to succeed.” -Katrina Oh, Founder, Able Advocates

How it All Began
5 years ago, Katrina Oh started Able Advocates to benefit children like her son Nathan, who was born with a rare brain disorder. Although Nathan was denied insurance services, Katrina became relentless and she never allowed hardships to prevent her from providing the best care for her son. Sometimes Katrina’s determination required her to pay for services out of her own pocket.

Through connecting with other families who experienced the same challenges with insurance companies, Katrina felt it necessary to start a support group for mothers with special needs children. Together these extraordinary women worked hard to create significant changes for local special needs children.

The Success of Able Advocates
Since it’s conception, Able Advocates has provided support, equipment, and care for over 2,000 Fresno area families. However, their goal is to accomplish much more.

You can help support Able Advocates by attending their benefit concert, on September 14, at the Toca Madera Winery. This concert is an exciting event you won’t forget; offering food trucks, Lolo Hawaiian Shaved Ice, and Toca Madera Wine for sale. A silent auction will take place as well. All proceeds will go to Able Advocates Equipment Closet. Click HERE to purchase your tickets.

The Guarantee Goodwill Network Fund is a donor-advised fund, established at the Central Valley Community Foundation, to encourage Guarantee employees to give back to the communities where they live and work.

City of Fresno Shredding Event-9/8

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The Fall season is approaching, and many residents have started to take advantage of their opportunities to move to a new residence. Some tenants are sprucing up their current residence and making room for new decor. Whatever the case may be, it’s time to gather all of those old documents that need to be shredded and bring them to the City of Fresno Shredding Event!

On Saturday, September 8 the City of Fresno Recycling Program will host a paper shredding event at the Municipal Service Center. The event will take place from 9 AM – 1 PM, or until shred vehicles are full. City of Fresno residents may bring up to three (3) boxes of personal documents to be shredded. For additional rules please read the PSA HERE before you go to the event.

Please help spread the word to friends and family!

At Guarantee Real Estate we strive to be the premier provider around the home sale transaction. We sincerely care about the community that we love to serve, and it’s our goal to keep you informed about what’s happening in our neighborhoods.

Need a Realtor®? Connect with us today!

River Park Farmers Market

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Written by: Leverne Brown

River Park Farmers Market – Bigger and Better Than Before!
I couldn’t allow the summer to end without a visit to the Farmers Market at River Park. What are the chances of me running into Owner, Peter De Young on the day that I decide to go? Very likely! You can catch Peter at the market on most days of operation.

I had an opportunity to chat with Peter, and he gave me an update on all of the changes that have been made for the public to have a more enjoyable experience. The first noticeable change is the size of the market. It’s much bigger with a slew of vendors from everywhere! Additionally, Peter has decided to open the market on Saturday mornings so that those who otherwise couldn’t shop on Tuesday night would have the weekend option for shopping. If you visit on Saturday, be sure to grab a breakfast burrito. They’re authentic, made to order, and very delicious!

Live music and entertainment is available on Tuesday nights. I had the pleasure of listening to local Violinist Patrick Contreras during my visit, and the man is musical genius!

Fresh Fruit, Wild Alaskan Salmon, Fresh Dairy, Nuts, and Bath/Body Soaps!
With so many vendors to choose from, I decided to allow my heart to do the leading as I began shopping. I couldn’t resist the plump and juicy grapes that Topete Family Farms were showcasing. Everyone who comes across this stand is sure to meet a Topete family member and leave with great-tasting grapes! The varieties offered are: Thomcord (seedless concord), Ruby Seedless, Princess Seedless (Red Globes), and Autumn Royal Seedless.

My next stop was to sample the sweet treats at Brown Butter Baking Company. Delightful and delicious is how I will describe the cookies…I held back, but seized the opportunity to speak with the owners about their product.

“We use our secret ingredient, browned butter. I guess it’s not so secret anymore, but our process of browning the butter is significantly different. We use a meticulous five-step process in baking each batch, so I guess that part will remain a secret!” – Melissa McKinsey, Owner, Brown Butter Baking Co.

Olive and Yew – A Homemade Soapery!
My last stop for the evening was at Olive and Yew. I absolutely love natural bath and body products. Sasanna was nice enough to recommend a very soft and subtle citrus blended soap, with coconut milk for my sensitive skin. If you are fond of essential oils, natural scents, and homemade sundries, stop by and see Sasanna. A little goes a long way when using her soaps, and you know what that means…More lather for your buck!

River Park Farmers Market is open on Tuesdays, 5-9 PM, and on Saturdays, 9AM-1PM through the end of October. It’s a great place to meet up with family and friends or to enjoy an evening stroll with the ones you love. Be sure to visit before it’s gone until next summer!

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Leverne Brown

Guarantee Blog Writer

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And the Winner is Jolleen Ruiz!

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The Agents at Guarantee Real Estate-Willow & Nees participated in a contest to show off their love for Central California neighborhoods. What were the terms of the contest? The Associate who captures the most creative neighborhood video for social media wins!

Congratulations Jolleen Ruiz! Your hard work and creativity shows through your enthusiasm as a Sales Associate, and your love for family.

“When I first heard about the contest, I knew I wanted to create something that showed how much I love this community and what it means to me. There are so many amazing things here in Central California that we take for granted. I love to brag about my town and show off what makes Clovis the perfect town to raise a family. Winning the contest was just the icing on the cake for me.”

-Jolleen Ruiz, Realtor® at Guarantee Real Estate-Willow & Nees.

2018 Guarantee Real Estate Hunger Heroes Campaign

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On Tuesday morning Guarantee Real Estate hit every street corner with one mission – To join the fight against hunger in Central California. In an effort to support the Community Food Bank’s annual Hunger Heroes fundraising campaign, Guarantee team members collected donations for those in need of food.

About the Community Food Bank
The Community Food Bank is dedicated to ending hunger in Central California by providing food to anyone in the community with a need. The organization serves 200 agencies in 5 counties and provides food to about 280,000 people each month. $.97 cents of every dollar goes directly to feeding programs and services.

The kick off for the 2018 Guarantee Real Estate Hunger Heroes campaign was a huge success. Five offices participated on Tuesday and so far, over $5,000 has been raised!

“This was a great experience and I was happy to see that many people were willing to help others in need.” – Diana Morales, Guarantee Real Estate Staff Member

We Need You to Join the Fight!
Guarantee Real Estate will continue the fight for Hunger Heroes through the month of May. If you see one of our office representatives out and about in the communities, we encourage you to be generous and to PLEASE GIVE to this most worthy cause.

“Hunger isn’t something most of us will experience, but if you’ve ever been in need or know of someone who has, you know the value of a resource like the Community Food Bank. We hope that you will join the fight with Guarantee Real Estate.” – Reginia Teter, Guarantee Good Will Network Co-Chair and Team Captain

The Truth About Homeowner Equity

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A recent article from a reputable news source was titled: Here’s why some homeowners still can’t sell. In the opening bullets of the article, the author claimed, “negative equity is one of the main reasons why there are so few homes for sale.” The article then goes on to soften that stance but we want to bring better clarity to the “equity” situation.

The latest Equity Report from CoreLogic (which was quoted in the article) revealed that over 80% of all homes now have significant equity, which means the home has over 20% equity. That level of equity allows the homeowner to sell their home if they so desire.

Here’s the TRUTH
If eight out of ten homeowners now have significant equity in their homes, it is hard to make the claim that “negative equity is one of the main reasons why there are so few homes for sale.”

Here is a map showing the percentage of homes in each state which currently have significant equity:

If you are one of many homeowners who is debating selling your home and are wondering how much equity you have accumulated, connect with a Guarantee Realtor® to find out why NOW is the time to sell.
Source: CNBC, CoreLogic

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